No one likes getting sick.
And the flu virus changes every year. So, getting a yearly shot helps protect yourself and those around you. Plus, it’s available at no cost to you.
Seniors or Those Who Care for Them
Our immune defenses weaken with age. And people age 65 and older are at a higher risk for health issues from the flu. If you’re a senior or live with seniors, a flu shot will help protect you all.
People with a Chronic Condition or Caregivers
People with a weakened immune system are more likely to get very ill from the flu. Getting your yearly flu shot helps protect yourself and those around you.
Children and Families
Young children have a higher risk of health problems from the flu. Newborns are also at a high risk but can’t get the flu shot until they are six months old.
Common Questions About the Flu
Why get your flu shot every year?
- Flu viruses are always changing. Scientists predict which virus will be most common each year. Flu vaccines are changed each flu season to make them work as well as possible.
- Your protection with the flu shot gets weaker over time. That’s why a yearly flu shot is needed to keep you from getting sick.
Can the flu shot give me the flu?
No. The flu vaccine is made from either inactive flu virus or none at all. That means getting a flu shot cannot give you the flu. But it can reduce your chances of catching the flu.
When and where should you get your flu shot?
- You should get a flu shot before the flu starts spreading where you live. Fall is the best time to get your yearly shot. If possible, get the shot by the end of October.
- You can get your flu shot in many doctor’s offices. You can also get it in pharmacies, clinics and health centers. Vaccines may also be offered at schools or your workplace.
Is the nasal flu vaccine a recommended alternative to the flu shot?
There is no preference expressed for any one vaccine over another. However, the nasal flu vaccine is only approved for use in non-pregnant individuals, 2 years through 49 years of age. People with certain medical conditions should not receive the nasal spray influenza vaccine. Talk to your doctor or healthcare provider about appropriate flu vaccines for you.
How do you know if someone has the flu?
The flu is different from a cold. The flu usually comes on suddenly. People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Fatigue or tiredness
- Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea. This is more common in children than adults.
Where should you go if you have flu symptoms?
Visit your doctor or urgent care or call the nurse advice line with any health questions. Unless you have a very high fever or trouble breathing, you should not need to go to the emergency room for the flu.